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COP28 Director General Leads Discussion on Leveraging Tech for Climate Action

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His Excellency Ambassador Majid Al-Suwaidi, Director General & Special Representative of the COP28 Presidency, today led a session at the Dubai Future Forum on harnessing the power of technology to support climate action.

Opening the panel discussion, entitled ‘Uniting for COP28: Leveraging Technology and Defining the Climate Technology Future’, HE Al-Suwaidi said: “Technology and innovation is a cross-cutting theme across the COP28 agenda and for good reason. Climate technologies can significantly bolster our capacity to both mitigate and adapt to the impacts of climate change, but they must be accessible and affordable.

“To meet our climate goals and drive the green transition, we must invest in and swiftly scale climate tech innovations. There is so much that we can achieve together at the convergence of climate, technology and policy. Through dedicated spaces and curated programs, COP28 will also showcase the diverse contributions of entrepreneurs and technology, especially those originating from the Global South,” the COP28 Director General added.

The panel discussion explored the evolving landscape of climate technology and the need for diverse stakeholders’ contributions and partnerships to drive innovation and deployment to address the climate challenge. Panellists in the discussion included David Livingston, Senior Adviser and Managing Director for Energy to US Special Presidential Envoy for Climate; Sabrin Rahman, Director of Partnerships, COP28; and Asya Al Shehhi, Negotiator, Technology, Science & Innovation, COP28.

In partnership with Breakthrough Energy, COP28 will host the Climate Innovation Forum on 1 December. The forum will bring together government, business and technology leaders, to spotlight cutting-edge technologies shaping the future of climate, with a curated selection of future-focused innovation covering themes such as artificial intelligence, satellite technology, big data, clean energy, industrial decarbonization, and more. There will also be various exhibitions and events at COP28’s Technology and Innovation Hub in the Green Zone, including the Startup Village, a dedicated space in the Technology and Innovation Hub focused on showcasing 150 of the most innovative climate tech startups.

COP28’s participation in the Dubai Future Forum, which represents the world’s largest gathering of futurists, also included a COP28 Changemakers Majlis exploring AI’s role in climate mitigation. The COP28 Changemakers Majlis has three tracks, a stream advancing the COP28 Presidency agenda, a domestic stream across the UAE, and a series of gatherings during COP28.

The series is a high-level, aspirational, action-oriented conversation focusing on realising the UAE’s bold ambitions of advancing innovative climate solutions. Hosting a curated group of influential leaders, the COP28 Change Makers Majilis events represent the chance to discuss specific climate change challenges, and co-design clear, actionable solutions.

The Dubai Future Forum majlis gathered a diverse group of climate actionists to explore the challenges of realizing the potential of AI in climate action. While AI is widely regarded as an important asset in addressing climate change, technology is typically developed by a narrow demographic, which can impact who it does – and doesn’t – benefit.

The majlis looked at how governments and societies can push for more inclusive design to ensure AI’s role in climate mitigation and adaptation strategies is done by everyone, for everyone. The discussion highlighted the need for inclusivity from the very earliest design stages all the way to deployment, to ensure the climate-AI nexus works for everyone, everywhere. Participants included AI experts, futurists, climate experts, policymakers, youth representatives and industry leaders.

The session took place under Dubai Future Forum’s Empowering Generations track. The Forum is gathering 2500 futurists, experts, government representatives, entrepreneurs and innovators. Taking place just days before COP28, the forum is focusing heavily on key questions around the future of sustainability and the role technology can play.

Prarthana Mary

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